First Impressions: Pipe Dream Demo

Pipe Dream is an upcoming slice-of-life dating sim developed by indie studio, Notome Games. This is my first experience with this team, but when your studio claims to specialize in “unusual otome game experiences”, let’s just say I take notice! Unlike most otome games that end when the player bags their boy, Notome Games wanted to create a game that explores the complexities of maintaining a relationship with your chosen beau. Aside from Storm Lover Kai, this is the first time I’ve come across an “otome” game that attempts to give players a more realistic romance experience. 

Pipe Dream follows Robin, a young woman living under the thumb of her overbearing mother. Tired of having her whole life decided for her, Robin plans to make a desperate escape and attend the college of her choosing. Finally free from her mother’s control, Robin is excited to begin her new life as a university student. Follow Robin on her journey, balance your classes with your new social life and possibly uncover a brand new romance along the way. 

Notome Games just launched the Kickstarter campaign for the game so you all have until February 14, 2021 to support the project. But, if you’re still on the fence about the game, there is a demo available—of course I had to give it a try for myself! So, here are my thoughts on the demo for Pipe Dream…

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First Impressions – Pale Cachexia Demo

Argent Games, the indie dev duo behind Red Embrace: Hollywood are back with a brand new project—the gothic fantasy kinetic novel, Pale Cachexia. I am a long time fan of the duo, each of their stories is a one of a kind experience, so you can bet I’m excited about the upcoming release. 

Pale Cachexia follows a young woman plagued by a mysterious illness that is slowly sapping away at her life. In hopes of finding a cure, she ventures deep into the forest in search of an apothecary. But what she finds is an empty manor whose halls hide deep secrets… and a lonely young girl desperate for companionship. Drawn to one another, both women develop a bond that

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Melanin Friendly Games – High Elo Girls

Hey  Blerdy Tribe!! Happy New Year! The dumpster fire that was 2020 is officially behind us and with it the promise of better things in the new year! This is the very first Monday of 2021 and what better way to kick things off than with some melanin friendly games! If this is your first time here at Blerdy Otome, welcome!

Every Monday I spotlight video games that focus on stories surrounding more diverse casts of characters—for folks like me looking for a bit more representation in their games. Video games are for everyone, so shouldn’t their stories and characters be just as diverse as the people that play them? So I created this series to celebrate games that strive to tell much more diverse stories centering on Black and Brown individuals. 

If you’re interested in seeing previous melanin friendly games posts, click HEREThis week, I’m spotlighting the queer positive Esports visual novel, High Elo Girls, from Split Fate Studios. 

Play as Rafaela, a college dropout seeking direction by trying out for Momentum Gaming (MMG), an ambitious team of five high level players come together to compete in a once in a lifetime competition, The Targon Invitational, for entry into the closed League Championship Series (LCS).

– High Elo Girls | Game Synopsis

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Our Life Beginnings and Always Review – A One of a Kind Life

Our Life Beginnings and Always is the latest visual novel release from indie game studio, GB Patch; and their most ambitious project to date. While most visual novels focus on a very specific period of time, Our Life spans years, taking players through the ups and downs of growing up in the seaside town of Sunset Bird. Follow Jamie Last (name changeable), their friends and family over several summers spanning 15 years—from childhood to adolescents to young adulthood and beyond.

A twenty-dollar bill, four summers, fifteen years, and a one of a kind life.

Our Life - Cove

A chance encounter with Cove Holden, a shy young boy who moves to Sunset Bird when Jamie is eight years old becomes a relationship that spans years and like the endless summer days that make up the story is full of infinite possibilities.

It was exactly a year ago that I played the first demo for Our Life and that was all it took to fall head over heels in love with the project. So, to say I was eagerly awaiting the full release is an understatement, and this game more than lived up to my expectations! With it’s breezy seaside setting, vibrant cast of characters and charming nostalgic story, Our Life is truly a one of a kind experience. 

Game Details

  • Genre: Slice of Life | Romance | Comedy
  • Available for PC (Windows & Mac) | Steam
  • Gameplay Length: 20-40 hours
  • Cost: Free (DLC $3.99 each)
  • Partial English Voice Acting
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First Impressions – Call Me Under Demo

Call Me Under is an upcoming queer positive supernatural, fantasy visual novel developed by the indie game studio, Lunaris Games. Coming on the heels of When the Night Comes and Errant Kingdom, this is the studio’s third project and promises to be their most ambitious release to date, as it will be the team’s first non-episodic game.

Set in the 1950s, Call Me Under takes players on a trip beneath the watery depths to the underwater city of Styx, a haven inhabited by humans, sirens, and a host of unknown otherworldly entities.  Eldritch horrors, dark mysteries, magic, and even romance await in what promises to be another exciting visual novel from Lunaris Games.

The team just launched the Kickstarter campaign for the title and they’ve already secured over 50% funding—if that isn’t enough of an endorsement, I don’t know what is… so since the demo is available, I decided to take a deep dive into the world of Call Me Under and see if the story holds up!

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Melanin Monday – Love Shore

Hey there Blerdy Tribe, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature Black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

My last post spotlighted Akupara’s adventure game Mutazione, and this week I’m shaking things up with a demo. Now, Perfect Garbage’s upcoming queer positive cyberpunk visual novel, Love Shore has been on my radar for quite some time–you guys know how excited I get about representative games and this game promises to give us some sweet BIPOC and LGBTQIA rep! And while the game is still in development, the team just dropped their demo over on the Steam platform, which in my opinion makes now the perfect time to start talking about this game again!

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Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea Demo Review – Do You Wanna Marry a Merman~

For many in the “mainstream” gaming community, visual novels are often seen as not “real” games—to many, an interactive story-based game can sound like a snooze fest. But, the truth is, visual novels are some of the most diverse games out there, covering a wide range of stories and genres… that quite frankly surpass anything I’ve seen from most mainstream games. Whether it’s a sci-fi adventure set in a distant galaxy, a slice of life romance, or an epic historical drama—visual novels are open to a wealth of story telling opportunities! They even lend themselves to giving creators from all walks of life a platform to tell their own unique stories with characters that are representative of themselves and the larger gaming community. 

As a Black woman and a gamer, I find that I turn to indie visual novels whenever I am hankering for more diverse gaming options and always, visual novels deliver. Over the years I have discovered quite a few gems and I’ve even had the opportunity to chat with a few developers of color, like Jellyfish Parade founder, Jessinia.  I am no stranger to her games, having fallen head over heels for her sci-fi romance game PAIRSwhich follows two couples as they navigate the ups and downs of their relationship against the backdrop of an ongoing war between Earth and an invading alien race. But, what drew me to the game was the fact that both of its female leads have distinctly Black features (something that was WHOLLY intentional), while not being defined by the color of their skin—something that isn’t as common as it should be in media. So, when I saw that Jellyfish Parade was working on a new (longer) romance game featuring a Black female lead and a diverse set of love interests… let’s just say I was closely following the project! 

Ocean Pearls: Kissed by the Sea is an upcoming fantasy romance visual novel that follows Nova, a young woman who finds her life turned upside down when she is unwittingly betrothed to one of several eligible ocean royals.  I managed to get a sneak peak at the demo and y’all, I am in love with these mermen~ (and the game too)! 

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In Blood – Demo Review

In Blood is the newest visual novel from indie game developer Jaime Scribbles Games, the creative team behind Pinewood Island and As We Know It. Follow Eleadora, a young woman who finds herself drawn into a world of supernatural horrors, when she unwittingly makes a bargain with an ancient god. In Blood brings together elements of Gothic romance and Lovecraftian horror to create a darker and edgier narrative experience reminiscent of games like Demonheart and Cinders, which are notable for their mature storytelling and characters.

In Blood Demo Review Nyarbalte

So, I had high expectations going into this demo and now that the Kickstarter campaign is live, I figured this was a good time to share my thoughts about the game and the premise. At first glance, In Blood put me in the mind of a CW supernatural drama series, a la Vampire Diaries—a dark and edgy supernatural romance with attractive 20 somethings…and surprise surprise, I am a sucker for these types of stories!

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Melanin Friendly Games – ‘Chronotopia: Second Skin’

Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome and that means I’m spotlighting another Melanin Friendly Game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with just a bit more representation. As a blerd and a gamer, I am always on the lookout for representation in my games. This is largely a personal project for me—there are almost no “diverse game” tags on major game sites—so, it can be pretty difficult find games with characters of color… unless you already know where to look.

Chronotopia Hair Combing Scene

This week, I’m spotlighting the dark fantasy visual novel, Chronotopia: Second Skin from Träumendes Mädchen. Unlike some of the previous games in this segment, Chronotopia is still in development, but a beta demo is available for free. Chronotopia is a retelling of the Donkeyskin fairytale and promises to be a more mature take on the tale. Princess Kionna lives a peaceful existence in her castle, enjoying her days with her best friend and confidant, Nahima. That is until her father, gone mad since the death of his beloved, decides he should wed her instead. Kionna has to find a way to escape from this fate, but how? She doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the beginning of a long nightmare that will take her to the edges of madness…

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Our Life: Beginnings & Always Demo Review – How Will Your Life Unfold?

This is yet another late review (I’m slowly working my way through all my game requests), but I’ve been following GB Patch for awhile and I LOVE their games so I was going to get around to playing the demo for their upcoming slice-of-life visual novel, Our Life: Beginnings and Always, eventually. I’ve played a few of their games before and I can honestly say that each of their games is a one of a kind experience, with each new title showing off just how versatile GB Patch is as a studio. They never tell the same story twice, so you can always expect something different from their new releases.

However, Our Life: Beginnings and Always is by far their most ambitious project, spanning several years, following its characters from childhood to adulthood in what promises to be a heartwarming coming of age story. The game is currently on Kickstarter, but the campaign is set to end on November 10th, so definitely check that out! The demo covers the first two stages of the character’s lives (childhood and adolescence), but the full game will cover four different periods of life (childhood, adolescence, teenage, and adulthood). And since Our Life: Beginnings & Always is set in the same world as their earlier game XOXO Droplets expect to see cameos of a few of the boys from that game from time to time. I played through the early demo and I am already in love with this game and its concept!

Demo Details

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